Why is Poolbeg Pharma so extraordinarily unique?
“…Nobody else has this data. Nobody else has this challenge data to analyze…”
There’s a lot of shoe leather being worn out at Poolbeg Pharma not least because chief executive Jeremy Skillington is a distance runner, but because the team has covered some miles evangelising about their assets, their data and their capabilities.
Number one is the company’s flagship small molecule immunomodulator POLB 001 being hailed by the company as a potential blockbuster for severe flu after positive clinical trial results were released in Q1 2023.
It’s ripe for a partnership deal and the team at Poolbeg has allowed and are continuing to let the industry know about it at big biotech events throughout the year that chief executive Jeremy Skillington calls “partnering conferences” including recent ones in Dublin, Leuven and Boston. There’s no rush though stresses Skillington as “it is our Crown Jewels. Prize assets. So we’re going to be very careful with who we partner with there, but we see multiple paths forward here.”
Poolbeg is marketing itself as a one-stop shop for pharma for good reason as they have a novel approach to infectious and prevalent diseases with a high unmet medical need. Its model essentially is to work backwards, unravel the disease progression and pair interesting targets with novel and interesting drugs.
The word ‘unique’ is a fact and not a cliché where Poolbeg is concerned as it utilises AI programmes to identify targets. And at the end of June Poolbeg announced it was at the forefront of AI drug discovery after a significant breakthrough in its world-first influenza Artificial Intelligence programme in collaboration with CytoReason.
In a nutshell, and in the clinic, volunteers were deliberately infected with the influenza virus, they became sick and they recovered. The outcome, as Skillington explains, gave the company “the data from all of that. The days of disease progression and recovery and essentially it’s a huge data set. It goes from everything from gene expression, transcriptomics, protein expression and proteomics, viral load, signs, symptoms, the medical history. Everything.”
“So it’s basically taking this huge dataset and analyzing it and interpreting it and essentially pulling out what we know from an influenza standpoint, going to new drug targets, understanding the immune system response to the presence of the virus and how the immune system is reacting to the present virus.”
“Nobody else has this data. Nobody else has this challenge data to analyze. So I think this is where Poolbeg is unique.”
The company does indeed have data no other company has. That data room is allowing them to branch out from infectious disease to oncology and the next big pandemic – that of obesity, so ‘metabolic syndrome’ is going to become a more prevalent phrase in shareholder updates, and will no doubt be another contributor to more shoe leather or leather equivalents being worn out as Poolbeg’s foot soldiers continue their pharma pilgrimage.
As the company approaches its two year IPO anniversary, Skillington says the company has accomplished so much in such a short space of time.
Watch Jeremy talk to Sarah Lowther about how the company is looking to assist the creation of longer term treatments; looking beyond the anti virals which are only effective for 48 hours and how there’s “a lot of opportunity for Poolbeg.”
Watch the Poolbeg management team talk to analysts at the company’s recent capital markets day.
Read the July 2023 corporate presentation
Follow the company on Twitter @PoolbegPharma
The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company